laugardagur, febrúar 10, 2007

the summer house

I'm staying the Saturday overnight in a little cluster of summerhouses, owned by my employer. It's a little ways out of town, far enough so that no city lights interfere with the stars. Just now when I went to the car to get a pen, the size and brilliance of Orion in the southern sky was almost shocking. I can't imagine how a good hit of the norðurljós must look from out here.

It's cold outside, a few degrees under freezing, and there is crunchy snow on the ground. There are a few dozen little houses clustered here looking down on a frozen lake. Down the hill from me, someone has lit a cooking fire outside and I can hear the excited sounds of little Icelandic kids playing flashlight games in the dark. Rising up to the west is a sky-filling mountain (now just a gloomy shape silhouetted by the lingering twilight) but in the other three directions the sky is clear and wide and endless. The cabins are nestled within a brambly Icelandic forest, scrubby little shrubs that stand shoulder-high in places. Off across the lake, I can see the twinkling lights of another cluster of summerhouses, at the base of a different mountain.

Every time I come out to the Icelandic country I realize I should be doing it a lot more. The peace and quiet out here always make even relatively sleepy Reykjavík feel like New York City. Maybe I'll get lucky and those northern lights will fire up in a couple of hours, hot-white and brilliant green and spanning the cloudless sky.

10 Comments:

Blogger videlectrix said...

If you live in a place that accepts the idea of "today's fast-paced world," you go to Reyk. to escape. If you live in Reykjavik, you go to the Icelandic countryside. If you live in the countryside,...

12.2.07  
Blogger Karen said...

hi hi, look at me! I´m commenting :)
Anyways. If you think that Selvík is quiet then you should try Kjölur in the summertime. It´s a road between Hofsjökull and Langjökull in the middle of the land and it´s completely deserted.

12.2.07  
Anonymous Nafnlaus said...

How about some pictures of this tranquil place? Those of us who dream of slowing down would love to see them.

12.2.07  
Blogger JB said...

Vid, in today's fast-paced Icelandic countryside world, who has time for manual sheep-shearing?

Karen, hæ og takk fyrir síðast! Ég ætla að keyra þar einu sinni í sumar. :-) Takk fyrir að lesa og að senda inn (loksins!) athugasemd.

Anon, in today's fast-paced world, who has time for uploading pictures? But I'll see if I can get to it this week. I do have some.

12.2.07  
Blogger JB said...

Here are some pictures from the weekend. Can't wait to go back there...!

14.2.07  
Blogger *Furley* said...

you describe my dreams so well. I'm coming to Reyk for Icelandic Airwaves in October...I cannot wait...is property in the countryside expensive?
mike

15.2.07  
Blogger Trevor & Rachel said...

We've always wanted to go to Iceland. Some photos of the area would be nice to look at.

16.2.07  
Blogger Walkersus said...

First time to IR - great blog! Are you part Viking or did your employer transfer you to Reykjavik? Sorry for all the Q's but I'm one of those wanna bees & dreamers - of living in the land of Fire & Ice. I am going to try for dual citizenship/ heard that it should be done before the summer - then other entrance requirements go into affect. Seems like you are pretty familiar with the language - were you fluent before arriving or did you opt for the Icelandic (for English-speaking) classes at the Univ.? Thanks to you and all who contribute via threads :)

16.2.07  
Blogger JB said...

Furley: Yeah, it's fairly expensive near the capital. But there are some good bargains to be found on abandoned farms in the more remote places, like the West Fjords.

T&R: Thanks for reading! May I suggest Google Image Search? :-)

Walker: I don't have any Viking blood (that I know of). I came to Iceland cause I like the place. I learned the language by a lot of evening hours over the books (and in the hot tubs). And one of my new coworkers just anointed me íslendingur last weekend at Oliver.

16.2.07  
Blogger Sigga said...

Just for fun I thought that I would send you a link to images of Andrew Denton, a legend in his own lifetime in Australia. Trust you enjoy the doppelganger experience!
http://images.google.is/images?hl=en&q=%22andrew%20denton%22&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wi

16.2.07  

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